The Parish is always in need of generous volunteers to help in the many tasks which form part of its life.  Here are just a few areas in which more assistance would always be warmly welcomed.

Reading at Mass

The Church has always venerated the Holy Scriptures as one of God’s greatest gifts to the Christian community.  Christ truly speaks to us in his Holy Word

It is a joy and a privilege therefore to be able to read at Mass and to proclaim the Scriptures.  Many can share in this ministry.  All that is needed is a clear voice a prayerful heart and a measure of understanding and confidence.

If you feel you could read at a weekday or Sunday Mass have a word with Fr Hilton or with David Hopkinson (01422 361226) who is the parish coordinator of readers.  Help can always be given if you are a bit unsure of your abilities.

Eucharistic Ministers

At the Last Supper on the night he was betrayed our Saviour Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood.  The Eucharist refers to both the celebration of the Mass and the bread and wine which after the consecration are transubstantiated (changed in substance) into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord and God.  At the Consecration the real presence of Christ body soul and divinity is present on the altar.  When we receive Holy Communion Jesus becomes part of us and we become part of him. It is the nearest we can be to heaven when this world in a real sense joins with heaven on the Altar. So for Catholics the Eucharist is the source and the summit of all Christian life.

It is primarily the function of priests and deacons to distribute Holy Communion to the faithful.  However when no priest or deacon is available or on account of ill health or advanced age or when the number of the faithful approaching the altar is so large that the celebration of Mass or other sacred ceremony would be unduly prolonged Lay people can serve the Church by distributing Holy Communion during Mass and bringing it to the housebound. The correct description for a lay person distributing Communion is “an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” but they are commonly referred to as a “Eucharistic Ministers”.

St Mary’s and St Albans is a busy parish and there is a legitimate need for the faithful to help assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.  Your willingness to serve as a Eucharistic Minister reflects not only your Baptismal call to serve but by offering Holy Communion you recognise the Body of Christ in those to whom you minister and you act as the Body of Christ by fully participating in the life of the parish.  Your willingness to commit to being on the Sunday rota to prepare properly and to arrive on time dressed appropriately further reflects that commitment. Since this role is normally reserved to ordained ministers it is important that those volunteering are given appropriate training.

If you feel you would like to volunteer as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist have a word with Fr Martin or with John Walsh who is the parish coordinator of Eucharistic Ministers.

Church Cleaning

The task of cleaning the Church each week is a vital if often unseen one.  This can be a very onerous task if there is only a small number of people involved which is currently the case.  Each week a very small group of men and women in the parish stay behind after 9am Mass each Monday to clean the Church.  So if you know how to use a vacuum cleaner a duster a polishing cloth or a mop then you will be made very welcome indeed.  If you do want to take part please have a word with Monsignor Smith or simply turn up after Mass on Monday morning.